Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Garlic and Vets

Saturday night some friends and I went to Kiploku krogs – The Garlic Bar – and had a very flavourful dinner. As far as I know, almost everything on the menu has some amount of garlic in it, including some of the desserts and beverages (ice cream with honey-garlic sauce, anyone? Or how about some delicious garlic mulled wine?). The joke/saying that goes with this restaurant is that if you plan to go, it is recommended to spend the rest of the evening hanging out with the same group of people who were at dinner, as you are the only ones who will be able to stand the garlicy company. I don't think any of us ate enough garlic for it to be seeping out of our pores, but I definitely still had the taste on my tongue the next morning.

But the food was delicious, the garlic mulled wine was as well (for this they don't actually crush the garlic, just drop one steamed clove into the drink, so the garlic taste is almost undetectable) and the prices were decent. Definitely a must as far as going back for more.

Now about the visit to the vet. Oh, experiences. First I called the taxi company to make sure I could transport the cat that way (by car from my apartment is the most direct, as with any other transport I would have to walk through the city for 10-15 minutes to reach the respective tram stop or the main train station with a howling, dagger-spitting cat, then sit on said mode of transportation for another 30 minutes while people eye me either warily or with annoyance as the cat makes horrific "I think I'm dying slowly and painfully so I'm going to make you experience every second of it" sounds. The cab company is run by saints who allow pets and even said "Hey, if you have a kennel for the cat - even better!" Like I was going to just carry the cat down to the car without any problems. On the way to the vet the cat literally crapped himself silly (at least we had some fecal samples for the doctor when we got there) and stunk up the cab. Not my problem.

The visit itself went well; the vet was a younger guy who kept dropping things all over the place, including at random and uncontrollable intervals from his pockets. He also knocked a few things off the exam table and expressed his frustration that something was going strangely that morning. He couldn't find anything wrong with the cat, and I started to think it might be because of his own judgement. The man is holding my cat down while sticking a thermometer up the poor animal's butt and tells me, "Wow, your cat is really freaked out." I just looked at the vet and kind of laughed. If he can't see the reason for the cat's nerves, then he's beyond my help.

The cat got a de-worming pill, prescriptions for a kind of anti-diarrhea pill and a "natural bacteria" balancer, and I got tagged with an LVL 19 bill (NOT bad at all - this price includes the medicine) and the strong suggestion to take the cat in for more de-worming and the next round of shots once he feels better.

The cab ride back started with the cabby picking up the cage and looking at it, then up to me with eyes glowing like a small child's and asked excitedly "A kitty!?" The cat was able to control its bowl movements better during the return trip and immediately forgot his recent trauma once back at home and stretched across the top of the radiator.

At this time it seems like the cat has gotten better. It was absolute hell trying to get the medicines in him; the pills were ridiculous (my cousin, also a vet, said that he doesn't even give that specific type of pill to clients for their pets until he chops them up and puts them into gel-caps to mask the bitter taste) and if I fail miserably trying to shove those down the cat's throat, I was generally too tired to try to get the other paste (which is apparently semi-delicious and tolerable) into his mouth. But the symptoms of whatever look like they're gone and I was able to call the clinic and let them know that everything seemed to be back in order. The cat is now splayed out on my lap, but little does he know that another vet visit is just around the corner.

Tonight I also went to choir practice with the Martinu koris. It went about as well as I could have expected it to go. I haven't completely forgotten how to sing, though practising my violin more will definitely get that hearing back into shape. Tomorrow night I go to play my violin in a Latvian fiddle-type setting with some folk dances/games people. That may be a bit more nerve-racking.

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